’tis the season to celebrate seasonal apples


With autumn festivities in full swing, there is nothing more rewarding than the simplicity of celebrating nature’s generous gift du jour: seasonal, locally-picked apples.

And a sumptuous gift indeed.

This year, we discovered arguably the best apples ever to be eaten– called Zestar! (yes, spelled with an explanation point–well deserved emphatic punctuation but not added by moi)–at a small farm in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Plump, crunchy and sweet with a touch of sour, our plentiful Zestar! pickage inspired the following recipes for vegan, sugar-free apple crumb pie and canned stewed apples.


Vegan, Sugar-Free Apple Crumb Pie


for the pie

3 large or 5 small apples (preferably locally-grown and seasonal) peeled, cut and cooked per instructions below for stewed apples

1 1/4 cup organic flour of your choice (whole wheat, oat, rice, millet, etc.)

1/2 cup organic Earth Balance or 1 stick margarine, very soft or melted

1/4 cup cold water

1/8 tsp salt


1 lb bag dried beans

parchment paper


for the apple crumb topping

1 cup organic instant oats or traditional rolled oats

1/4 cup organic flour of your choice

1/4 cup  organic Earth Balance or 1 stick margarine, very soft or melted

1/4 cup organic juice (grape, apple or orange)

cinnamon to taste



Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine pie crust ingredients. Press crust onto an oiled 10″ round pie pan, Cover with parchment paper and place dried beans in pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until crust is lightly golden. Remove from oven and remove beans and paper from crust.

Combine apple crumb ingredients.  Pour stewed apples into crust. Crumble the topping evenly on top of the apples. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.



Canned Stewed Apples


as many apples as you want to prepare–approximately 2 cooked apples fill one jar.

apple or grape juice

corn starch

cinnamon and nutmeg to taste


Large pot for boiling apples

extra large pot for boiling jars

glass canning jars

jar lifter (LUV this tool) to remove hot jars

cooling rack or kitchen towels



Wash, peel and cut apples into thick slices or small chunks. Place them in pot of boiling water and grape juice (approximately 2/3 water and 1/3 juice)–apples should be submerged with liquid. Add 1 tsp of corn starch for every apple. Add cinnamon and nutmeg–approximately 1 tsp for every 3 apples. Boil for 8-10 minutes. Turn off heat.

Fill an extra large pot with water and bring to a boil. Remove top from jars and boil both jars and their tops in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool on cooling rack or kitchen towels.

Pour stewed apples in jars until full. Place lids on jars and seal tightly. Place jars in pot of boiling water and boil for 15-20 minutes. Boil jars in batches — as many as will fit in pot. Remove jars with jar lifter and let cool.

Canned stewed apples make wonderful party and holiday gifts for family and friends!! They can also be used as fillers for puff pastry, toppings for pancakes, or alone for dessert or that low-calorie midnight snack.